Cash Has Its Own Place, the Physical World

9. October 2017.

The security of digital assets, with recent hacks into credit rating agencies and retailers in the headlines, remains an open question for many consumers.

Cardtronics said people might also favor paper for security reasons — and they may be right.

The company said 84 percent of respondents are worried about data security, and two-thirds said they make payment decisions based on which form is considered the most secure, up 6 percent since 2016.

Further, the reliance on both consistent power and access to data networks casts a shadow on mobile payments for some. One need not look further than the recent catastrophic weather events in recent weeks and the havoc on infrastructure for reaffirmation of the independence from information technology cash provides to keep business flowing.

My phone crashes, my computer dies, but my penny collection from when I was five is still here,” he {Harley J. Spiller} said. “When it’s on the screen, it all feels like a piece of glass. Coins have ridged edges — there’s something to touch and fidget with. The rest is in the cloud, and I don’t get it. I don’t have a direct connection.”

The actual act of exchanging cash for goods and services at delivery is in essence what the various digital and cryptocurrency schemes are seeking to imitate. As business and finance moves to reside increasingly in the digital environment, there will no doubt be an expansion of commerce in currencies that are indigenous to the environment. That said, so long as we remain rooted in this physical world, the means to definitively transact in this physical world will have need as well.

Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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